Transjugular liver biopsy: Safe even in patients with severe coagulopathies and multiple biopsies

Megan J. Sue, Edward W. Lee, Sammy Saab, Justin P. McWilliams, Francisco Durazo, Mohamed El-Kabany, Fady Kaldas, Ronald W. Busuttil, Stephen T. Kee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the safety profile and diagnostic efficacy of transjugular liver biopsy (TJLB), with a focus on patients with severe coagulopathies and with multiple biopsies. METHODS: Clinical, laboratory, and demographic information was collected on 1,321 TJLBs in 932 patients (mean age 43.5 6 23.2 years) performed between January 2009 and May 2017 to determine the diagnostic success rate and incidence of both major and minor complications in the 3-day and 30-day period postbiopsies. These outcomes were also analyzed for severely coagulopathic patients and a subgroup of patients who underwent multiple biopsies. RESULTS: The overall success rate (diagnostic yield) of the TJLB procedure was 97.7% (1,291/1,321). Overall, the major and minor complication rates were 1.0% (13/1,321) and 9.5% (126/1,321), respectively. In patients with multiple biopsies, the overall complication rate was similar to the entire study cohort, which was 10.4% (57/550). Patients were also stratified according to the platelet counts of 0-50, 51-100, 101-200, 201-300 and >300 3 103 platelets/mL. The overall complication rates were 8.0% (10/124), 11.6% (36/310), 9.9% (54/547), 11.9% (28/235), and 14.3% (11/77), respectively, and these were not statistically significant from each other. Patients were also stratified by international normalized ratio into 0-1, 1.1-2, 2.1-3, and >3. The overall complication rates of these patients were 8.0% (19/237), 11.8% (113/954),16.3%(7/43), and0%(0/9), respectively, andwere not statistically significant fromeach other. DISCUSSION: TJLB is a highly efficacious, well-tolerated and safe procedure. It can be safely performed multiple times in the same patient or in critically ill, severely coagulopathic patients with no significant increase in the rate of complication while maintaining an extremely favorable diagnostic yield.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere-00063
JournalClinical and translational gastroenterology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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